HATTIESBURG – Luke Reynolds earned Conference USA Player and Newcomer of the Year honors, while Nick Sandlin tallied Pitcher of the Year and Scott Berry garnered Coach of the Year accolades for their respective successful seasons, announced an announcement by the league office.
The vote includes the 12 league head coaches and baseball sports information directors as well as one media member from each league school.
Reynolds, along with Sandlin, were named to the league’s First Team, as was Golden Eagle outfielder Matt Wallner. Fellow outfielder Gabe Montenegro earned a spot on the All-Freshman Team.
Reynolds, the first person to win the Player and Newcomer Award in the same season, leads Conference USA seven different categories, including batting average (.403), on-base percentage (.558), slugging percentage (.749), total bases (143), runs scored (67), home runs (15) and walks (56). He is tied for the lead in doubles with 19 and third in RBI with 58. Reynolds, who enters the C-USA Championship having reached base in 28 consecutive games, has 25 multiple-hit and 22 multiple-RBI outings.
He is the second consecutive Southern Miss player to win the Player of the Year award after Dylan Burdeaux won it last season. Reynolds also becomes the first player in C-USA history to win both Player and Newcomer of the Year.
Sandlin has posted an 8-0 record this season in 13 starts and has fanned 122 batters, while having walked just 14. His league-leading ERA of 1.25, WHIP and strikeout-to-walk ratios all rank in the Top 10 nationally. Sandlin, who was 6-0 with a 1.06 ERA and 81 strikeouts in conference games, earned National Pitcher of the week honors five times this season. He is also a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, given to the best player in college baseball.
Sandlin is the third different Southern Miss hurler (four times total) to be named C-USA Pitcher of the Year.
After leading Southern Miss to its fifth Conference USA regular season championship and second in a row, Berry earned the Keith LeClair Coach of the Year honor. The Golden Eagles 23-6 mark in conference play gave them 48 league victories in the last two seasons, becoming the first school to win 23 or more games in back-to-back seasons.
The Golden Eagles have been ranked in the top 15 of the national polls all season, are the top hitting team in C-USA in eight categories, including average (.305) and runs scored (449) and have the third-lowest team earned run average (3.66).
Berry is the first skipper to be named the Keith LeClair Coach of the Year in consecutive years since Rice’s Wayne Graham won the award three straight times from 2006-08. This is his third C-USA Coach of the Year honor, making him the third head coach to accomplish that in C-USA history.
Southern Miss is the first school to win Player, Pitcher and Coach of the Year awards in the same season since Rice in 2007.
Wallner enter the Conference USA Tournament with a .352 batting average with 12 doubles, 13 home runs and a team-high 59 RBI for the Golden Eagles this season, while Montenegro has a.302 average with 11 doubles, a triple, a home run and 36 RBI.
The Golden Eagles continue their season when they open the 2018 C-USA Baseball Tournament at MGM Park in Biloxi, Miss., Wednesday, beginning at 4 p.m.
FIRST TEAM ALL-CONFERENCE
IF Tyler Frank, Jr., Florida Atlantic
IF Ford Proctor, Jr., Rice
IF Luke Reynolds, Sr., Southern Miss
IF Eddie Silva, Jr., FIU
OF David Miranda, Sr., Florida Atlantic
OF Jacob Rhinesmith, Jr., WKU
OF Matt Wallner, So., Southern Miss
C Reynaldo Pastrana, Jr., Marshall
DH Hunter Wells, So., Louisiana Tech
UT Austin Dennis, Jr., Middle Tennessee
SP Logan Bailey, Jr., Louisiana Tech
SP Matt Canterino, So., Rice
SP Josh Maciejewski, Sr., Charlotte
SP Jake Miednik, Sr., Florida Atlantic
SP Nick Sandlin, Jr., Southern Miss
RP Jonah Patten, Sr., Charlotte
RP Zach Schneider, Jr., Florida Atlantic
SECOND TEAM ALL-CONFERENCE
IF Aaron Aucker, Sr., Middle Tennessee
IF Steven Kraft, Sr., WKU
IF Jackson Mims, Jr., Charlotte
IF Austin Shenton, So., FIU
OF Parker Bates, So., Louisiana Tech
OF Ryan Chandler, Sr., Rice
Of Reece Hampton, Jr., Charlotte
C Harris Yett, Jr., Charlotte
DH Brett Blackwood, Jr., UAB
UT Logan Allen, Fr., FIU
SP David Leal, Jr., Louisiana Tech
SP Andres Nunez, Jr., FIU
SP Logan Robbins, Jr., Louisiana Tech
SP Jake Wyrick, Sr., Middle Tennessee
RP Ben Morrison, Sr., WKU
RP Drew Peden, Sr., Florida Atlantic
IF Trei Cruz, Rice
IF Joshua Lamb, UTSA
IF Taylor Young, Louisiana Tech
OF Luke Brown, WKU
OF Gabe Montenegro, Southern Miss
OF Dylan Rock, UTSA
C Jose Garcia, FIU
DH Steele Netterville, Louisiana Tech
UT Logan Allen, FIU
UT Eric Stock, Old Dominion
RHP Dane Acker, Rice